God’s Word for Today: Rejected
The other day, I discovered myself walking across this vast expanse of a bridge. It was not an intentional walk. It was a walk of rejection. The overnight bag and laptop backpack felt heavier at that moment than ever before. The wondrous sun that keeps everything so green in this part of the world was an oppressing torch. My dress shirt became the reigning champion from a wet tee contest. Life was heavy. Rejected is a weighty word. This bridge seemed to have no end.
Now that I have painted my weary, dreary, feel sorry for myself picture, you must be informed of the details.
This bridge I was so grudgingly treading across is known as the Friendship Bridge. It is the primary crossing from Ciudad del Este, Paraguay to Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. Thousands of people cross this bridge every day by truck, bus, car, moto taxi, and on foot. Early mornings and evenings, it is the transfer of people who chose to live in one country and work in the other. During the day, the movement across this bridge is primarily Brazilians going to Paraguay to buy items that are more economical and not burdened with high sales tax.
True to its name, the Friendship Bridge typically lets people pass back and forth from these 2 cities on a regular basis without the hassle of permits and immigration inspections. I have crossed this bridge many time via car and nary a stop was made.
On this day though, things were different. Just the day before, I had passed by car from Paraguay to Brazil, spent the good part of the afternoon across the border and returned. On the way back, my business partner questioned if we should stop at the Brazilian Consulate and inquire about the next day’s passage. My confidence level was at the stage to emit a simple “No, we will be OK”. Somewhere buried deep in my inner being, a little voice said, “You should have stopped.” I chose to ignore that irritating messenger.
Our travel plans the next day involved a 3-day roundtrip voyage via bus, to the inner regions of Brazil. I have done this before, just like crossing that bridge, only every time previously was via automobile. Large passenger buses fit into a complete different category than cars. Traveling past the very first city within the Brazilian borders adds a punctuation mark to the trip.
The first stop on the bus was on the Paraguay side. No problem. Had my Paraguay Visa in my Passport, received the required stamp for exit, got back on the bus, and started enjoying the movie that was playing.
The next stop on the other side of the bridge, was supposed to be routine too. A simple showing of my identification along with some preliminary Paraguay green card paperwork insured my pass and security for travel within Brazil. The lady at the Brazil immigration counter did not agree with my logic. Her orders were simply black and white. “No Brazilian Visa, no passage.” I could have argued till I was blue. I could have cried and begged. I could have spent the $160 the day before and purchased the Visa.
Instead, I was kicked off the bus, pointed in the direction of Paraguay, and left to my own walk of shame. Thus, the details of the first paragraph.
Psalm 66:20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
Have you ever thought what it would be like to reach your life’s end, meet your maker, ring the bell of the Pearly Gates, only to be rejected? Many a humorous story or quip has been told of the questions one must answer at the entrance to heaven. There are some good ones. But deep down, the fear of being rejected from Heaven can be a reality that is very imaginable.
The best part, God recognized that his Visa process for entrance into Life Everlasting had some problems. God fixed this. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to our world to pay the fees. Jesus paid with His life. And here, I was trying to not spend $160.
Today, know that you will never have to face the word rejected when it comes to your Eternal Destiny. Jesus took care of it on the Cross. Your past doesn’t matter. Your previous rejections of God Himself are erased. The slate has been erased and cleaned. You simply need to believe with all your heart that Jesus was resurrected and overcame death for you. Then fill yourself with His gift of the Holy Spirit and cross any bridge this worldly life throws in front of you with the knowledge that Jesus is walking with you………… Amen and amen.